Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Tyranny of the Offended

The tyranny of the offended is a subject which I have often heard discussed among friends, sisters, family, and on radio.  Like spoiled children, when anyone's work is inferior, or they are not praised enough, they pout and plot revenge.

We see this in various social situations, and sadly it comes to ladies in a very personal way, into homes, churches, and on the internet. People with perfectly lovely weblogs who merely want to share something beautiful or helpful, receive visitors who go away miffed and offended. No matter who they focus on, those who take up offenses often carry them as open wounds long after everyone else has moved on to improving their own character.

Because unforgiveness is part of the mix, some offended people never, ever get over the perceived offense.  Some people have never been taught how to forgive and let go of personal offenses. There are some cultures that exist today that continuously fued, based on things that happened 50 years ago. This sort of thing has been the subject of many stories and comedies, as people who harbor offenses are considered backwards, uncivilized and immature. They do not let go of the offenses, and it weighs them down, as it prevents them from making any positive improvements in character and life.


We have been hoodwinked by the false doctrine of tolerance. Children's manners go in corrected when parents don't want to offend them.  Older women feel they cannot deliver a lesson on homemaking or modesty, because of the tyranny of the offended.  Some people object so strongly to anyone promoting the teachings of the Bible on the responsibilities of women to the family, that they will seek revenge and set out to destroy their teachers or shut down the websites of the ladies who dare to approach the subject.  

While those who want to live a quiet, clean and simple life may never deliberately offend anyone, there are sometimes those who are offended because "they think it strange that you walk not with them" in their meanness, vengefulness, or wastefulness.  Sometimes all they need is one glimpse of you or your home or website and a simple-minded person takes up an offense.  It is not surprising that people can behave this way, since by their very attitudes they can have no confidence in what they produce in their own lives.

We are seeing today the tyranny of the offended.  They will attack the person they are offended by, and refuse to work things out. They do not want to make things right. They do not care if they are creating a disturbance for others and they never intend to reconcile or completely forget an offense.  Their desire is to make as much noise as they can and keep a war going on.

The destruction they try to wreak on a family, a church, a business, a website, can be devastating if they are toleratd. Anyone who is teaching on the sensitive subjects of homemaking, gracious living, sewing, principles of clothing design, and raising children, can become targets of these offended people. The offended have become very militant and pushy in order to remove any opposition to their rebellion.

What shall be your response to the offended?

Firstly, never assume that asking forgiveness will suffice.   You may not be dealing with reasonable people who will listen to truth. They may merely have an agenda of revenge. They may have other motives for their resentment. Unreasonable people are never calmed by truth. They do not want peace. They want war and they want to destroy.   To keep such people from destruction of what is right and good, you may want to think about the following things:

-Watch your words. Offended people are always looking for more material to use against you. The more you explain things to them, the more they find to resent. The less said to them, the better. It is natural to be friendly and reach out to everyone, even the disgruntled. It is a mistake to think that if you are more loving and generous it will pacify a disgruntled person. Sometimes it is best to leave them alone, lest they cause more harm.

-Do not cater to unreasonable people who carry grudges. It is a mistake to alter your articles to please them, to change the way your family lives (such as times of meals or entertainment),  or to cater to such people at church. Sometimes the complainers are trying to eliminate good teaching and truthful preaching. They are not willing to conform themselves to the teachings of our Lord, so they attempt to remove the teachings, or change them to suit their own wishes. 

Years ago in a ladies Bible class, the teacher wanted to make it easier for other ladies to be there who had never attended in years. They convinced her to change the time of the class, the subject material, the location where the class was held, and the day of the week when they assembled for the class.  The teacher acquiesced to the changes. Those who wanted the changes were still not happy, and quit coming. The changes were inconvenient for the faithful Bible class members and they were no longer able to attend. Catering to then reasonable people, who were not happy with the class no matter what changes were made in their favor, caused the loss of the entire class.

-Do not change your values (if they are sound and Biblical) 

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